We have all heard the sayings “Time waits for no man” and “Time is Money”. Both of these cautionary statements are intended to remind us that we cannot delay the passage of time and that time is the most finite and valuable resource we have. Yet, the dilemma for many people is that they do not believe they have enough time to invest in the activities that are most important to them and that will ultimately help them achieve their mission and goals for personal and professional success.
While change is constantly happening in the environment around us, change can be difficult to deal with. Some people see change as exciting and readily embrace it because of the new opportunities and innovations it presents. But for others, the process of change is chaotic, risky, and filled with negative emotions such as uncertainty, stress, and fear since change marks a departure from what is comfortable or familiar.
After reading the book, my biggest takeaway was that “Every action you take is a vote for the person you want to be.” When I assessed my habits then and tracked how I was spending my time, I realized I was voting for an unproductive TV watcher not a writer. My behaviors were not consistent with my goal to write and publish a book someday. I knew these behaviors had to change. Consequently, I decided that my writing rut was over, and I would resume writing and publishing articles on my blog again.
Have you ever driven home or to work with no memory of how you got there, or completed a chore or task without any recollection of what you did? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Much of what we do from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep is based on habits we perform on autopilot. In fact, research tell us that “approximately 43% of our daily behaviors are performed out of habit.” So, where you park your car, whether you park facing in or out, what you reach for first when you wake up and what you do next, your entire morning routine is made up of small or big habits.
For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled with Mathematics and other numeric subjects and I have the poor grades to prove it. This fixed mindset that I did not like math and was not good at it started in my childhood and travelled with me all the way through to college. However, in my first year of undergraduate studies, I had to do an Introductory Statistics course to complete my degree. The course was widely touted as difficult and had a high failure rate amongst first year students. When it was time to do the course, I found it difficult and intimidating and went through the semester just praying to scrape through with a passing grade. Unfortunately, at the end of the semester, I got my results and found a big F amongst the As and B+s on my transcript.
If we do not learn how to deal with conflict, we are fated to spend most of our lives being miserable about unmet needs and unhappy in our personal and professional relationships. Yet, many of us were never taught how to deal with conflict in a healthy and constructive way. Most of us probably learned how to manage conflict from the unhealthy examples demonstrated by our parents or from what we saw during our childhood. And today, our attitudes and approaches to dealing with conflict is still influenced by those patterns.
With this “everyone gets a trophy” generation, I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes struggle with feeling empathy for some people who describe their lives as “hard.” Growing up without both parents, I believed my life was hard since I had to learn very early how to be independent and to look out for myself. As a result, I do not have a lot of patience for anyone I perceive as lazy, entitled, and expect things to go their way. This is primarily because my perspective of a hard life is very different from their view of a “hard life”.
Each of us have experienced tough times or situations that have made us feel uncertain and unsafe. So, whether it was poverty, loneliness, loss of employment or income, death of a loved one, a life-threatening diagnosis or some other life changing event, we have all had to overcome something, we have all had to be resilient.
For me, the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme is great illustration of what happens when trust is violated or broken. Whether the relationship is personal or professional, things fall apart when promises are broken, commitments are not honored, lies are told, information is withheld, confidence is betrayed and people or their actions are willfully misrepresented by others. Regardless of the circumstance, the results of broken trust are division, doubt, fear, insecurity, hurt, bitterness, stress, resentment and unhealthy interactions or relationships.
Truth is, the quality of our interactions and relationships are based on the degree to which we feel we can place our confidence in others. Supervisors who do not trust their teams are more likely to micromanage. People who do not trust their partners are more likely to be insecure, question their every move or sneak around trying to get information. If you do not trust a product or service, you are unlikely to buy it. And business that operate in low trust environments, spend way more money on security to protect their assets and customers. Fact is- trust affects everything -who we chose to be in relationship with, where we look for for help, who we confide in, who we do business with, where we spend/save our money, the products we consume and even the jobs we leave or take.
So, think about the last decision you made or problem you had to solve? How did you go about it? Did you gather the information and objectively look at the pros and cons? Did you ask questions to get additional information? Did you verify the source of the information you were basing your decision on or did you just go on the basis on your gut feeling or what a friend or family member told you? Making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, reacting emotionally and not being able to distinguish between facts or fake news are obvious indicators that you might not be thinking critically about a particular situation, individual or issue.
If you have ever listened to a successful person speak about their achievements or journey towards their biggest moment, whether it was an athlete, actor, entrepreneur or professional, the one thing you would probably hear them mention is the importance of being and staying motivated. You probably would also hear their stories of overcoming adversity, setbacks, the pain of failure, mistakes and even their struggles with self-doubt. You would hear them speak about pushing through the obstacles to remain committed and focused on that dream or goal that they set for themselves.
Wash your hands, do not touch your face and sanitize seemed to be the never-ending tune playing in our heads. Sneezing and coughing became taboo in public spaces and could earn you the side eye amongst family and friends. Paranoia set in and many of us became germaphobes and hoarders overnight, while our home became multipurpose spaces for school, church, and work. Suddenly, normal daily routines were abandoned, the outdoors were empty, cars were parked, and the roads were traffic free. Life became quiet and eerie.
Recently, I checked on him to see how things were going. I was hoping for progress but from what I heard, not much had changed. He seemed to have a problem for every solution I tried to help him with and could hardly commit to taking much needed action to help himself. The conversation left me tired and frustrated.
Her feedback certainly explained why- despite my best efforts I was not having the impact I wanted and was not working effectively with those members of the team. The feedback left me feeling confused and frustrated. How could my strengths- self-confidence, outgoing personality and assertiveness show up as a weakness? Her feedback had revealed a blind spot and I knew then that I would need to do some things differently.
“It is complicated”- is a relationship status that no one aspires to. It typically speaks to a relationship that is characterized by drama, mixed feelings, and unresolved issues. Yet, when I think about my own history and relationship with feedback- it is complicated are the only words to describe it.
Our negative thoughts can stem from an unanswered call to a friend or loved one, or an unacknowledged text. Negative thinking can also be triggered by the language in an email you received from a supervisor/coworker, the tone a person used when speaking to you, your observations on how a situation was handled or just a gut feeling you have about something or someone
However, I have also worked in environments where, I have had a coworker who looks like me say “I don’t like you all (meaning immigrants)” and accuse me of receiving preferential treatment (due to Caribbean heritage) as compared to other black women. I have even had another woman who does not look like me say “your energy is shutting me down”.
During this time, my only self-care (more like self-preservation) was wearing a mask, washing my hands and social distancing. I was super stressed, suffered hair loss, felt irritable all the time, and just felt 'dry" in every area of my life. I was not ok, and I had not put my mask on first.
Dear 2020, Thank you for the lessons.. It is a truth universally acknowledged that, 2020 was a year like no other and no one saw it coming. Whether it was the COVID pandemic that shattered our notions of normal, or the physical and social isolation that revealed the quality of our relationships and threatened our… Continue reading 6 Lessons From 2020 We (Should Not) Forget in 2021
There is a $9.9 billion market for motivational self-improvement programs and products that seek to improve us physically, mentally, financially or spiritually.
Four years ago (Today), I migrated to the USA to embark on a brand new chapter of my life. Excited about my visions of success, the lure of new opportunities and the well wishes of friends and family, I flew out bravely. But, like any big life event or major change, the journey has been filled with challenges and opportunities that I had to navigate to transition… Continue reading Coming to America..4 Years Later
“Almost Every Successful Person Begins With Two Beliefs, The Future Can Be Better Than The Present And I Have The Power To Make It So.”
Much of what we think, how we think, what we see, how we feel, and how we act is determined by our personal biases, and limited experiences. However “valid” or “right, “we believe these perspectives to be - they might not always be so.
They say that, 'beauty is in the eyes of the beholder'. I say, so is success. Recently, I had conversations with two friends - one male and, the other female, in which success, perceptions of success, or the lack thereof were common themes. In these interactions, both friends shared their views about their own successes… Continue reading Success & Misperceptions of Success
Making a commitment is sometimes easy, but staying committed is most times hard. This is true of most commitments, whatever their shape or form. Nonetheless, at the start of a New Year, many people declare themes, set goals and share resolutions about what they hope to achieve in the long and short-term. Unfortunately though, some people are permanent non-starters, and their… Continue reading That Commitment Thing….
You get the call. After days and months of applying for jobs, tweaking your resume with key words from job announcements/postings, to ensure that you avoid the “black hole” of online applications, and applicant tracking systems, you have an interview and are a candidate for the job. Yet, like public speaking, going to the dentist… Continue reading Let’s Talk: About Interviews
Marriage/divorce, relocation/migration, critical illness, new job or starting a business, are just a few of the important life events that one may have to deal with at some point in their lives. If you’re lucky, you may only have to deal with just one of these life events, and hopefully one that you choose. Sadly,… Continue reading On Change & Transitions: Make Your Change Work For You!
Some time ago, I had a conversation with a colleague at work, in which I raised some issues about a work flow process that I had observed. As I shared my views on how the process could be improved, she nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement. Since I was new to the team, I asked… Continue reading Lead At The Level You’re At!
“You discover yourself in losing yourself in the service of others”.Ghandi All across the globe, people in every country, sector and of all ethnicities volunteer their time, and give their resources to help/support varied causes, events or efforts. But what exactly is volunteering? According to Wikipedia “Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and… Continue reading Volunteering: A Great Option For You!
I recently watched a TEDX video, Dream Big, Live Small with Dee Williams, who shared how her illness and life changing experiences dramatically transformed her perspective on life and living. She shared about how her fears about her own mortality changed her perspective, caused her to reflect on her life and make some drastic changes. These changes included selling her… Continue reading Perspective is Everything !
Doubt kill more dreams than failure ever will It is a truth universally acknowledged that challenges, setbacks, failures and disappointment are a part of life. The best laid plans will go awry. People will hurt and disappoint you. Unexpected challenges and issues will pop up as you go about your daily lives, and well thought… Continue reading On Failure and Motivation
The tears well up in Ashley’s eyes, she tries desperately to stop them, hide them, but, they stream unchecked down her face. John pushes back his chair from the table, and storms from the meeting room. The usually bubbly and energetic Ann, dejectedly looks down, there is no light in her eyes, no welcoming smile.… Continue reading Managing Emotions at Work
Made in Jamaica...... In my last post about personal branding- "It's All About the Brand", I looked at why our brand matters and how it is reflected in everything we do. This post sparked interesting conversation pieces and raised some relevant questions that I would like to address and expand on in this post. Among… Continue reading Made in Jamaica……..More on Branding
Branding is everything!!!!!!! Whether it's our food/drink, clothing/footwear, gadgets/electronics, jewelry, automobiles or even the places we visit---we tend to have preferences for particular brands. Though some people could not care less about the brand of a shirt, car, watch, perfume/cologne, food item, there is very little that others won't do, no price too high, to acquire… Continue reading It’s All About the Brand!!!!!
"To be, or not to be, that is the question"— William Shakespeare's , Hamlet The answer lies with you. Yes, you- the one making the decision. 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year, or every minute of the day, we make decisions, big and small about our relationships, families, careers,… Continue reading To Be or Not To Be?
While there is no such thing as a bad word, some words produce troubling and uncomfortable emotions and responses in people on a personal or professional level. One such word is SEPARATION. For most people, separation (the process or thought) evokes feelings of sadness, loss, regret, anger or an uneasy sense of relief. If you… Continue reading Separation in the Work Place-Who Really Decides?
"No man is an island, no man stands alone." By our very nature, we were created for relationships. Be they personal or professional, we develop and maintain relationships with the people who are a part of the circles or groups to which we belong. While some of these relationships might have emerged consciously/unconsciously over time, they result in meaningful friendships which help us in the… Continue reading Navigating Relationships At Work
I am pretty sure that when you think or hear of the term engagement - the first thing that comes to mind is a proposal for marriage. Yes, the moment the man or woman (not so uncommon these days) pops the question and ask his/her beloved for their hand in marriage. If you thought so, you would be quite right but that's not… Continue reading Are You Engaged?
Bright , Smart , Educated , Articulate, Confident and Intelligent (IQ). Have any of these attributes been used to describe you? I'm pretty sure they have. And whether you might have developed any of these traits throughout all your years of schooling or your gene pool, these should make you pretty awesome or augur well for your success. After all,… Continue reading The Things I Didnt Know(That I Didnt Know)
"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” Zig Ziglar Think about a time when you've experienced success in some area of your life, and received accolades from your family, peers and friends. For most persons, this a proud moment, a rewarding experience which can be described as "heady" at best. Yet, this is only one… Continue reading So You Think You’ve Arrived?
Why does it hurt so bad? Why do I feel so sad? Thought I was ... No, this not a love song. Nor is it about my love life, or the death or loss of a loved one. I am talking about FEEDBACK. At some time or another, you and I have had to give… Continue reading Why Does It Hurt So Bad? Feedback is a Gift!